Sweet Service Award goes to VP Plaza España and its Gynkgo Sky Bar; Sour Service Award goes to Espahotel Plaza España!

The Sweet Service Award goes to 5-star VP Plaza España in Madrid, and its Guest Experience Manager Samuel Vela, for his kindness to me, despite not staying at the hotel. On my arrival in Madrid, I mistakenly tried to check in at the hotel, having been dropped off outside its door by my Uber driver. Samuel showed me where the hotel that had been booked for me by an airport travel agency was. A day later I needed a beer, due to the heatwave in the city, and as my hotel did not offer this service, I went to the VP Plaza España. Samuel suggested I go up to their Gynkgo SkyBar on the 12th floor, with a lovely view of a lit-up Madrid, and of a thunderstorm, with good service. Continue reading →

Parador Hotel Pilgrim Lunch, a tradition dating back to 1499, a highlight of my Camino, but not for the food or service!

On Saturday I had the amazing fortune to enjoy a Pilgrim Lunch at Restaurante Enxebre, an informal restaurant which is part of the five star Parador Hotel in Santiago de Compostela, with seven other Camino pilgrims. To experience a Pilgrim meal is almost as much of a high as walking the Camino, and making it all the way to Santiago de Compostela, this tradition dating back to 1499. Continue reading →

Pick n Pay goes ‘nude’, trials plastic-free Fruit and Vegetable shopping!

On Facebook I saw an article that attracted my interest and attention, being a proud litter cleaner in Camps Bay, about Pick n Pay trialing the use of paper bags in its fruit and vegetable departments, and selling these items loose and not pre-packaged, in 13 of its stores around the country. 

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Sweet Service Award to Pilbeo; Sour Service Award goes to Alda Eustacion Pontevedra!

The Sweet Service Award goes to Pilbeo luggage transfer service in Portugal and Spain, and its operator Jesus Capeans Viña, for the excellent reliable service they offered in collecting and dropping off my suitcase on each of my 15 Accommodation nights in the Portuguese Coastal Camino, starting in Porto in Portugal until I completed the walk in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. When I developed a bad blister underneath my foot, I could be transported with my luggage to the next destination, at the cost of an additional ‘suitcase’. Two changes to my schedule/accommodations were efficiently handled. Continue reading →

Pastéîs De Belém a taste of tradition since 1837, the best Pastéis de Nata in Portugal!

When I visited Lisbon earlier this month, I was recommended by a local to visit Belém in general for its historic tower and monastery building, but also specifically to buy and try the Pastéis de Nata at the iconic Pastéis de Belém, which has operated since 1837, only a handful of the closest trusted employees having its secret recipe. Continue reading →

The Test Kitchen retains its position as Best in Africa on 2019 World’s 50 Best Restaurant list, Mirazur in Menton the number one in 2019 restaurant!

In Singapore today The Test Kitchen moved from 50th position last year to number 44 on the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurant list, and was recognised as the Best in Africa. Mirazur in Menton was named the World’s 50 Best top restaurant, not without controversy surrounding a significant change in the rules regarding the top spot this year. The 18th ‘truly global’ ceremony of the Awards was women-dominated, to make up for their past under-representation.  Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Restaurant Casa Rita in Baiona, Spain not ideal for non-Spanish speakers, despite Michelin accreditation!

When I walked past Restaurant Casa Rita in Baiona in Galicia, Spain, on my Camino walk at lunchtime last week, and I saw a chef placing fresh fish and shellfish on ice into the display window, I had to photograph it. When I saw that the restaurant has a Michelin knife and fork accreditation, I went inside to book for that evening. Chef Sefi Brea promised me that a waiter would be able to serve me in English. Continue reading →

Fun fine dining SŸN at 47 popping up on top of 47 Bree Street from 16 July, a teaser before the main event!

The news is brief, and no doubt more will be revealed as 16 July gets closer. Dynamic Chefs Rikku O’Donnchü and Warwick King are opening a somewhat more permanent pop-up restaurant for a three month period before they are ready to open their exciting experimental fine dining restaurant, the location and name of which is still a big secret. Continue reading →

Sweet Service Award goes to Lisbon train service; Sour Service Award goes to Diana Tours in Lisbon!

The Sweet Service Award goes to the Lisbon train service, for its amazing train to Porto, and for the discount I received when making the booking at the Lisbon station, Initially the ticket seller told me that the second class tickets were sold out, and that I would have to buy a first class ticket at €85 for the three hour trip. He understood my question about a pensioner price, asked to see my passport, and lo and behold, I was given a second class ticket at €22! I mistakenly sat in the first class section initially, and the seats in both classes were almost identical, with footrests, and WiFi! South African trains have a long way to go! Continue reading →